Chapter 5, Page 32



  • vin

    Oh jeez, Mike. ;_;

    That puts a spin on his “Are you a good mother?” question from way back. D-:

  • LeDayz

    Damn, right in the feels.

  • Yelena Rossini



  • Emor

    Again Der-shing shows how much thought she’s put into this story: Bex pours out her heart to Mike, who can only respond by making it about him (note that I’m not blaming either of them, it’s the way they’re built, period).

    • Some_Douchebag

      I read this as Mike explaining what he did wrong, and acknowledging how Bex’s experiences are similar to his own. This is probably more for his benefit than hers, though. For some people, this sort of thing doesn’t happen very easily, and they must talk themselves through it. I honestly believe that everyone has had to do this at some point. Your inherent empathy can only take you so far when it comes to understanding others. It speaks volumes that this is what Mike has chosen to do once he’s reached that limit. The next page could prove me very very wrong, of course, but I’m expecting either an apology or a further breakdown from him soon.

      • Emor

        I’ve tried, but I’m unable to read “But I needed you to be perfect and strong” as an explanation of what Mike did wrong or an acknowledgement of “how Bex’s experiences are similar to” his.

        • Some_Douchebag

          I’m reading a lot of tone into it. “But I needed you to be perfect. And strong.” isn’t as explicit as saying “I had unrealistic expectations of you and treated you poorly when you didn’t meet them, which was extremely unfair”. That look on Mike’s face in panel 3, and the fact that he’s crying as he says this just screams “what have I done?!” to me. His earlier character development, “Levi, have I been cruel?”, is in line with this. The fact that he’s doing this at all, and seems to have been prompted by Bex’s “Have you felt the pain of a private wound?…” speech, says to me that he’s now seeing her as similar to himself.

          The next page shows you were more correct, though. Mike does break down further, but it seems more for his sake than anything he did to Bex.

  • Arianwen

    brb blubbing

  • ouuuch

  • JJ

    Yup, Mike, that’s a perfectly reasonable expectation :§

  • Margaret Hogg

    I kinda expected this shoe to drop. Just the Mike has made an assumption about Bex leaving her kids that hasn’t been 100% confirmed by the plot shoe.

    And wow, the last line kind of echoes Mike’s flashback with Toby in a way? Find someone you might get along with, get scared about it, then put them up on a pedestal way way above yourself so you can force rejection on your own terms instead of risking them actually getting to know you and reject you. Am I getting warm here? Lol am I kinda speaking from my own experience? (Shh maybe)

  • HousePet

    Still waiting for Bex to realise that Mike is just as messed up as she is, and that they are both annoyed at each other for not living up their own unfair expectations. One of the people here should be taking anti-psychotics, the other seems to be expecting people to treat her with understanding without telling them what they need to understand.

    Come on Bex. What have you learnt about Mike? Does it really all add up to ‘Arsehole’?

    • shingworks

      I hate to have an opinion on something I have Word of God level control over, but I think she is doing her best… one theme I’ve been kinda trying to inject over the course of the story is that people don’t really know how to effectively take care of each other. It’s really really hard to do the perfect thing, and sometimes you can’t save another person. Several characters have tried to reach out in their own way to both and have failed to connect. The problem is when you don’t respect the struggles of other or see the pain of others as being valid or equal to your own. That’s when you start ranking who suffered more, or who should have saved whom. Also, in Mike’s case, he also hasn’t shared important stuff about himself to Bex either, which is what she’s repeating back to him now, that it’s reasonable to assume that people don’t want to always do that in order to be taken seriously by others. So idk haha. Sorry hopefully the story has room for interpretation outside of my own but that’s sort of my idea, not really good or bad just two gray area people trying to get along.

      • HousePet

        Well the problem here is that I understand the characters (well these two anyway). So I can see what isn’t working right, but can also see that they should be able to work it out too, if they take a moment to look at it.
        I feel that Bex is being a little unfair to Mike, as she suspects he’s got mental problems, but is still expecting him to be more understanding than anyone else she has ever met, and hasn’t done much about finding out what is wrong with Mike. She keeps telling him that she is a vulnerable person, and then rebuffs him whenever he asks what he is supposed to do about it.
        Mike on the other-hand, has basically found himself inside his own head. All the problems he’s buried are now being mirrored in front of him and he has no clue how to handle this. He wants to help Bex, but he doesn’t have a clue how to help himself. Bex is his only link to sanity.

        • red

          I mean let’s not forget they’re stuck underground on another planet. Nobody’s gonna deal with that as they would under ideal circumstances.


    • thighfriendest


  • brokenidealist

    Wooooooooaaaaaaaah… that is quite the… revelation?… from Mike. Can’t wait for the next page(s). I’m really hoping he’ll explain some more of what he just said and why and what it means. And glowing tears! Some sort of assimilation/replacement/enhancement of the water in his body with the Martian sea… I can only begin to fathom the implications of that.

    • Margaret Hogg

      Wow I didn’t even get that glowing water thing.

  • a dude

    love it

  • Grey Area Person

    Der-Shing you are amazing. The time frame within this story is not incredibly long but you have given us two very solidly formed characters that that both have nuanced personalities and are damaged in their own way but are wickedly easy to empathize with. Their own traumas and brokenness causing them to be closed to others while simultaneously being blind to others own struggles and placing them on pedestals. Just so human.
    Can’t wait to see how this conversation goes. I definitely needed this reminder today. I hold everything in and let me stress and anxieties slowly consume me and the only way to find relief is to open myself up to my so and talk through our difficulties. Hoping Bex and Mike both feel less alone after this and that the convo doesn’t get interrupted.

  • Lizard

    Love the subtle separation drawn in the second panel. I know its the chamber ceiling feature looking from above but its so dang fitting and good.

    • Margaret Hogg

      I noticed that as well. So good!

  • Kat

    Ohhhhh, my heart. This page is such an emotional gut-punch. Bex is such an amazing character.

    I love this comic so, so much.

  • march

    this page is so bloody amazing, I love that statement from Bex, I love the vulnerability and strength, i love everything about it! (esp the first and last panels, wow)


    You may be a world known explorer going to other planets for your studies, but wherever you go, there’ll be a man who’ll say: “YOU ARE AN IMPERFECT AS A MOTHER!”

    (If I have said it already, just swipe this comment away.)

  • Amelie W

    You know almost everyone you meet is in the middle of a decades long argument with someone who isn’t there? Well, Bex probably knows that about Mike now anyway.

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